www AlpineRoads com Biking In The Alps
Mariazell - Austria
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If, like me, you actually prefer twisties as opposed to the majestic scenery and undless-but-dull hairpins of the higher mountains, you'll be in your element here. This central part of Austria is mountainous enough to make all the roads twisty, but not too extreme. There is a unique concentration of roads here that are just so good, and for sheer sportsbike enjoyment this area really is very hard to beat.
Bikers are numerous and welcome, especially on warm weekends. We stayed here once and it was totally dead in the evening once the tourist busses had left.
L113 Wegscheid - Niederalpl - M?rzsteg
B23/B21 M?rzsteg - Lahnsattel - Mariazell
B23 Mürzsteg - Mürzzuschlag
Runs along wide, forested river valleys mostly. Sweepers. Fast. No nasty surprises and a very nice ride.
LH101 Annaberg - Ulreichsberg - Gscheid
B24 Palfau - Wildapen - Gu?werk
Otherwise it's generally fast sweepers with tighter bits in between - similar to the Gesäuse, in that it runs in a white-water river valley through trees. Can be hard work at speed and is bumpy in a few places. They have completed the new tunnels now (August 2000) and resurfaced about half of it so the road is generally in good condition. I'd seriously recommend this one, for the road and the scenery. If you get hot, there are tons of places to pull over and cool off in the river (if you can stand 8-10°C on your goolies). A very popular road with local bikers...for a reason.
B115 Palfau - Grossreifling
B31/B25 Waidhofen - Göstling - Lunz
Main road, fast sweepers, great surface. Strangely quiet outside rush-hours. Fast ...
B71 Lunz - Zellerrain - Mariazell
B28 Neubruck near Scheibbs - Puchenstuben - Wienerbr?ck
It is mainly tight twisties with some wiggly bits in between, running through heavily wooded cliffsides. Take your shades off for this one.
The best bit is the north-western end just outside St. Anton an der Jesnitz.
Not to be missed.
L6159 Wintereck - St.Anton an der Jesnitz
B20 T?rnitz - Annaberg - Mariazell
via Annaberg, fast, main-road sweepers; GTi boy racers ? Try and follow me and weep.
L407/L117 Ratten - Pfaffensattel - Spittal
Narrow, bumpy north side. The south is longer and much more pleasant. An average ride but the roads to the south make it worthwhile, rather than going round on the S6
B21 Kalte Küchl
At the junction of the Ochssattel/Rohrer Sattel and Kleinzell roads is a large, lonely, fairly ordinary restaurant. If you come here on a wet day in autumn then that's what you'll see. Come here on a warm weekend in summer and it's a different story.There is a fairly big car-park out front, but this is normally packed with bikes of all descriptions lining both roads forabout 100yds. It's called the Kalte Küchl (Cold Kitchen) but it does serve hot food. It is within a leisurely day's ride from Vienna even on a chopper, and is at a junction of two brilliant roads. The food is OK, prices reasonable, and there's always someone to talk bike with or give route tips. It's also the ideal stop or start for the folowing routes:
B21 Ochssattel - Rohrer Sattel
The Ochssattel is very twisty in places and typical of the roads in the hills around here. The surface has a few bumpy bits, as it's quite narrow and can't be repaired too often.
The last couple of miles just before Kalte Kuchl is so twisty we reckon it's one of the most intensly gripping (no pun intended) sections we know. Great !
LH133/LH132 Kalte K?chl - Kleinzell - Hainfeld - Ramsau (Adamstal)
North from the Kalte Küchl is a small river along which runs one of the best roads in the area. And, of course, everyone knows that. The police have recently tried to ban bikes from the road because of the accidents (mostly, it must be said, due to Viennese "life-style" chopper riders thinking that their Harley can get round the bends the same as a Fireblade....). Luckily the police failed at the last attempt.
It's a narrow wooded valley with a sinuous, rather than twisty road.
B27 Höllental to Reichenau
Approach Schwarzau from either Pernitz, Hohenberg or Mariazell. Avoid during weekends, then you'll have the road to yourself. It's a tourist attraction, but that means a great surface running along a wide valley which narrows into a long gorge section.
Very varied, it includes fast straights and sweepers at the northern end, and some medium twisties in the southern and central bits. Because of the tourists there's nothing that busses couldn't easily negotiate. It can be very smooth in sections so take it easy when it's raining.
Watch-out for the corners marked with skull-and-crossbones....